Strange Lights (or one object?)
Sighted and Photographed near Dawson City Yukon

By Cher Davidson and Martin Jasek - posted Feb 24, 2007


This sighting took place at a residence above the Dawson City golf course about 4 km southwest of Dawson City. A woman was sitting at the kitchen table playing poker on the Internet when she just happened to look out the window and saw some lights just above the hills on the other side of the Yukon River to the east-southeast.

“When I saw the “lights” they were just above the hilltops in the southeast and moving fairly slowly in an Easterly direction. It was probably about a half an hour before moonrise. I think I watched them for at least 3 minutes before they went below the hills. There was no discernable shape as the object was fairly far away and it was dark out. To try to describe the object as best I can, I would say it resembled a carpenters level laying horizontally and having a number of red lights evenly spaced in this “band”. Beneath that and at a distance of approx. two or three times the height of this “band” was a shorter and smaller band of light that seemed to be rounded on the ends.” The witness couldn't judge the size of the object(s) or span of lights since she didn't know how far away they were.

dawsonfeb5,2007-fig1.jpg (20399 bytes)
Figure 1. Witnesses’ depiction of the object and trajectory above hills.

 

dawsonfeb5,2007-fig2.jpg (74893 bytes)
Figure 2. Witnesses’ depiction of the object’s relative size and location.

Figure 1 and 2 represents, “as close as I can recall the appearance and relative size of the object I saw at approximately 11:00pm on February 5, 2007. I watched the object move slowly to the east for 2 to 3 minutes before it went out of sight behind the hills. This would have been about an hour before moonrise.”

The woman went outside to have a better look and took a couple of digital pictures of the lights. Unfortunately, they only show light “squiggles”(Figures 3 and 4). This was due to the low light levels, which caused the lights to be motion-blurred due to the movement of the hand-held camera. The shutter was likely open for several seconds.

 

dawsonfeb5,2007-fig3a.jpg (14592 bytes)a) dawsonfeb5,2007-fig3b.jpg (8576 bytes)b)
Figure 3. First digital photo of the object (cropped). The object didn’t appear like this. The “squiggly” nature is due to the slow shutter speed and motion of the camera. a) original, b) brightness and contrast enhanced.

 

dawsonfeb5,2007-fig4a.jpg (14507 bytes)a) dawsonfeb5,2007-fig4b.jpg (7251 bytes)b)
Figure 4. Second digital photo of the object (cropped). The object didn’t appear like this. The “squiggly” nature is due to the slow shutter speed and motion of the camera. a) original, b) brightness and contrast enhanced.

The woman was the only witness as far as she knows; she had gone outside to see it and then went inside to wake her husband so he could have a look but by the time he went outside it was gone. The total time of the lights being visible she guesses was 2 - 3 minutes. During a phone interview the witness mentioned that the sighting occurred between 10:00 and 11:00 pm and about half an hour before moonrise. The witness said that she experienced no unusual feelings or perceptions besides the obvious thought of “what is that?!”.

The witness mentioned that this was her second experience. The first being in Dawson in 1978 when she and a friend were ski-dooing near the cemetery at the Dome and saw a light in the sky, like a star, coming closer and closer to them, then suddenly going back the way it came and then disappearing.

Time of sighting
The witness mentioned that the sighting occurred about an hour before moonrise. Due to the hilly terrain, the exact time of the moonrise would take some effort to workout precisely but if hills were not in the way moonrise would occur at about 10:46pm. A look at the elevation terrain in the area using Google Earth indicates that the hills to the east-southeast are about 3 degrees above the horizon +/- 1 degree depending on direction. Moonrise for 2,3 and 4 degrees would occur at about 11:06, 11:16, 11:26 pm respectively. Therefore the sighting occurred sometime between 10:36 and 10:56pm, say between 10:30 and 11:00pm. This is consistent with the witnesses’ estimate between 10:00 and 11:00 pm during a telephone interview and 11:00 pm in the text submitted by her along with Figures 1 and 2.

Question?
Could the yellow bottom portion of the object been the reflection of the rising moon which was not visible in the valley yet but would have already been visible for someone hovering over the hill tops?

Acknowledgement
We would like to thank the witness for providing detailed illustrations, digital photographs and description of her sighting.

 

 

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